Intrusive thoughts


#1

I said earlier i been getting unwanted Blasphemy sexual thoughts. these thoughts get worse. I usually pray when i get these thought but they come also while i praying. I am afraid that iam sinning. It is very difficult for me to ingore these thoughts. I heard in an article if i change my reaction to these thoughts i wont have them much. So how to do I react to these Thoughts?


#2

I wish I could help you. I too have these thoughts. I also have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

I think you need to speak to a good priest and also a good therapist. A good Catholic therapist would be ideal if you could find one.

I try to say some prayer like: ‘‘Precious Blood of Christ wash over me and protect me from the wickedness and snares of the devil.’’

Or the St Michael Prayer.

I think it is important not to get too stressed about these thoughts. Yet we must fight against them, or deal with them, in a way that is pleasing to God. God will deliver you from them, and there are times during the day when I am free of them. So there is great hope, both now and in the future for you and for me.

God bless you, and tonight I will pray for you and for all people afflicted by these thoughts.


#3

The fact these intrusions happen when you are praying is very telling. I believe the devil is tempting you to get you to think you’re sinning and other things in order to keep you from praying or praying effectively or whole-heartedly. He’s trying to distract you.

My advice is to give up these intrusions as an offering to Jesus and continue the prayer even if the thoughts continue. The thing is, you did not will these thoughts, they came on their own, which implies there are other forces at work here. Realize you’re not at fault for something you cannot control, and that you may very well being spiritually attacked. Pray for God and the Virgin Mary to take these temptations and thoughts away from you, but if they do not go away, do not lose heart, and turn them to your advantage by offering them to God as a sacrifice. Prayer done in spite of some suffering has merit. The enemy does not want you to concentrate or pray or have any focus, and he will usually attack in ways you are either susceptible or at times that are the easiest to disturb your peace.

Remember that this isn’t just about you and your thoughts, it’s a spiritual warfare being waged by spiritual beings and we have our part in this struggle. We’re to help the angels and ourselves and others through prayer, and the devil doesn’t want another soldier helping his enemies, so he does whatever he can to keep you from prayer or from thinking prayer is the right thing to do in a given instance. He plays to our sensibilities and scruples, and when we feel we’re being pressured by thoughts we cannot control, and we let that pressure keep us from prayer, he wins that round.

Unless you are entertaining these thoughts, I would dismiss them and continue with your prayers. Also, pray to Saint Michael, your patron saint, as well as your guardian angel for help and assistance with this issue. You’ve got alot of power on your side willing to aid you, so don’t dispair. :slight_smile:


#4

Logismoi or Assaultive Thoughts
“The holy elders,” Father Maximos claimed, “identify five stages in the development of a logismos. Of course, I am speaking of a logismos that goes contrary to God’s laws. The first is the assault stage, when the logismos first attacks our mind.”

“Let me give you an example. A thought enters our mind in the form of a suggestion urging us, let us say, to steal. It is as if this logismos knocks at the door of our mind and tells us: ‘Look at this pile of money. Nobody is looking. Take it.’

“When such a logismos strikes, no matter how sinful it may be, it does not render us accountable,” Father Maximos explained. “The quality of our spiritual state is not evaluated on the basis of these assaults. In simple language we commit no sin. The holy elders throughout the ages were relentlessly tempted and assaulted by similar and even worse logismoi.

“The second stage according to the holy elders is what they called interaction. It implies opening up of a dialog, an actual exchange with the logismos. When a logismos urges you, for example, to steal that pile of money, you begin to wonder, ‘Should I or should I not? What’s going to happen if I steal it? What’s going to happen if I don’t steal it?’ This is risky and dangerous. However, even at this stage there is no accountability on the part of the individual, no sin committed as yet. The person can indeed examine such a logismos and consider several options without being accountable. But if the person is weak by temperament, then defeat may be the most likely outcome of that exposure to the logismos.”

The third stage in the progression of a logismos is the stage of consent as we would say. You consent to commit what the logismos urges you to do, in this particular case, to steal money. You have made a decision. That’s when guilt and accountability start to emerge. It is the beginning of sin. Jesus was referring to this stage when he proclaimed that if you covet a woman in your mind you have already committed adultery in your heart. The moment this decision is allowed to take root in your heart, then you are well on the way to actually committing the act in the outer world.”

“In the event that a person is unable to free himself from the previous stage, then there is defeat. He becomes hostage to the logismos. The moment the person succumbs, the next time around the logismos returns with greater force. It is much more difficult to resist then. And so it is with the next time and the time after that. The holy elders called it the stage of captivity. That’s when the person can no longer retreat and proceeds along with this act which now becomes a habit that is repeated time and again.”

“Finally, the holy elders identify the end stage in the evolution of a logismos as that of a passion or obsession. The logismos has become an entrenched reality within the consciousness of the person, within the nous. The person becomes a captive of obsessive logismoi, leading to ongoing destructive acts to oneself and to others, such as in the case of a compulsive gambler. The holy elders have warned us that when we become dominated by such passions it is like giving the key or our heart to Satan so that he can get in and out any time he wishes. We see a lot of our brothers and sisters struggling desperately to overcome their obsessive passions and addictions but without much success. They are fully aware that what they do is self-destructive. They are capable of reasoning with clarity of mind, but their heart is captive. They cannot eject from themselves that negative energy that possesses and controls them.”

“So what can be done about these people? Are they beyond hope of freeing themselves from their destructive passions?” I asked.

“Through the Grace of the Holy Spirit everything is possible, including their healing,” Father Maximos replied. Then, like a good teacher, he summarized the five stages.

“So, we have five stages in the evolution of a logismos,” he concluded, spreading out the five fingers of his right hand. “Assault, interaction, consent, captivity, and passion. These are more or less all the stages. They unfold and grow within us sometimes gradually, sometimes like an avalanche.”
So how do we handle them?

The answer is surprising. We ignore them. That is what the Church fathers tell us to do. They explain that they are like flies and we are to bat them away. From a neurological perspective this makes perfect sense. We don’t want to think about the thought or even dialogue with it as it will grow even more. That brain cells that we neglect will eventually die. This should give any of us hope who has struggled with unwanted thoughts. When the logismoi, like the unwanted salesmen comes to the door, we are to shut the door and not to even dialogue with him. To invited him into our house or our heart constitute sin–sin of the heart. The first two stages are not sin. This should make it easier to ignore the first two stages, assault and dialogue.

Of course, praying the Jesus Prayer is a great replacement for a repetitive assaultive thoughts. St. Mark the Ascetic said that he gave credit for his prayer life to satan. Every time he was tempted by the devil, he prayed; thus, he prayed a lot. St. John Chrysostom talks about how a thief will not disturb a house where there is a party going on inside. So it is with the heart of the person who says the Jesus prayer continually. Logismoi, we are told, will always be with us in this life. Even the holiest of people still have to contend with them.
Click on the link to read the rest.

John


#5

I have to say, I have only myself to blame for my own intrusive thoughts: I went through a bad period during my late teens and early adulthood. Now all that stuff torments me, especially at prayer, Mass etc…

I liken it to Satan casting a fishing line at me, and that I must always, by the Grace of God, refuse to take the bait. I fished so long on my own, now Satan is fishing whilst I try to live for God now.


#6

John ~ Thank you very much for this post. What wonderful information!

God Bless you!


#7

“Understanding Scrupulosity” is a great book by Fr. Thomas Santa that addresses this. This is fairly common. Our minds tend to think about the very thing we fear the most!

If I were to offer you a million dollars to NOT think about carrots today. The first thing you are going to do it think about carrots!
You might even start obsessing over carrots.

Nothing to fear my friend… God knows about this struggle. Read Fr. Santa’s book, or go to the Scrupulous Anonymous website.

:slight_smile:


#8

Ten Commandments
for the Scrupulous

Rev. Thomas M. Santa, C.SS.R.

mission.liguori.org/newsletters/scrupulosity.htm


#9

Intrusive thoughts can come with O.C.D. traits. They can also come from the devil. Try talking with a priest about your situation and see if he thinks you might benefit from medicine. Medicine can work wonders for intusive thoughts, should all else fail.


#10

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